Modern Classicisms: Classical Art and Contemporary Artists in Dialogue

What is it about Greek and Roman art that still captivates the modern imagination? How can contemporary art help us to see the classical legacy with new eyes?
And what can such modern-day responses – situated against the backdrop of others over the last two millennia – reveal about our own cultural preoccupations in the twenty-first century?

This international workshop explores these questions by probing the continued relevance of classical visual traditions (above all, from 1945 to the present day). By bringing together artists, classicists and art historians, we examine what the ancient Greek and Roman artistic legacy means from the vantage-point of contemporary artistic practice. The day launches a series of collaborative events organised by King’s and the Courtauld in 2017–2018, including an exhibition on the theme of Modern Classicisms in Bush House (March/April 2018, timed to coincide with our co-hosted AAH annual conference).

The workshop will take the form of a dialogue in the true sense of the word. The day will be structured around a range of thematic sessions – each opened with a short intervention, followed by a panel response and group discussion. Speakers and respondents include not only academic art historians and classicists, but also curators, critics, journalists and, above all, artists themselves (including some of the most celebrated names in contemporary British art).

Confirmed speakers include: Dalya Alberge, Ruth Allen, Tiphaine Besnard, Bruce Boucher, James Cahill, Léo Caillard, Michael Craig-Martin, Matthew Darbyshire, Charlotte Higgins, Brooke Holmes, Nick Hornby, Jessica Hughes, Patrick Kelley, Polina Kosmadaki, Christopher Le Brun, Lisa Le Feuvre, Christian Levett, Isabel Lewis, Simon Martin, Robin Osborne, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Elizabeth Prettejohn, Marc Quinn, Mary Reid Kelley, Alexandre Singh, Michael Squire, Caroline Vout and Sarah Wilson.

Registration for this event opens this week. Places will be limited, and early booking is advised. There is a small charge for tickets (to cover refreshments, lunch and drinks): £10 (£7 student concessions).

To book your place, please visit:

For more information, please email

This event is organised by The Courtauld Institute of Art and the Arts and Humanities Research Institute at King’s College London, in collaboration with Minerva (The International Review of Ancient Art and Archaeology) and the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins.

9:00am, 10 Nov 2017

King’s College London, Strand, London